Saturday, 19 May 2012

Me and Orson Welles

UK Release: 4 December 2009
Watched on LoveFilm Instant: Saturday 13th May 2012
Rating: 12A
Genre: Drama
Runtime: 1hr 56mins
Tagline: All's fair in love and theater
IMDb Plot Synopsis: In November 1937, high school student and aspiring thespian Richard Samuels takes a day trip into New York City. There, he meets and begins a casual friendship with Gretta Adler, their friendship based on a shared love and goal of a profession in the creative arts. But also on this trip, Richard stumbles across the Mercury Theatre and meets Orson Welles, who, based on an impromptu audition, offers Richard an acting job as Lucius in his modern retelling of Julius Caesar. Despite others with more official roles, this production belongs to Welles, the unofficial/official dictator. In other words, whatever Welles wants, the cast and crew better deliver...

My Review: After some rather reasonable reviews, I was expecting a pretty decent film - what I hadn’t anticipated was how compelling it was as it literally lifts you out of your seat and grabs you on one heck of a ride through this one week in Richard’s life. Christian McKay as Orson Welles stole all the headlines and while yes, he brought a huge amount of presence and prowess to the role I think this discredits Zac Efron’s performance. The poor guy is still working to shed the high school musical attachment and be seen a a more serious actor and I think the more films he does like this the better as this does far more to his ‘street cred’ as it were than films like The Lucky One or Charlie St Cloud. He completely carried his own and you immediately warm to his character, as you get swept up by this lively 30’s story. You definitely feel like you’re right there in the action, helped by the wonderful soundtrack and beautiful costumes. Claire Danes was excellent as always and I particuarly appreciated her many 1930’s outfits! 
The film sums up that theatrical atmosphere and spirit of the time and its a fun watch. As the posters said it’s a “feel-good” film and despite perhaps the disheartening ending for Richard it has a positive feel the whole way through which is endearingly uplifting - and just what I needed for a break in revision!
Score: 7.5/10

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